Microsoft Solitaire

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A component of Microsoft Windows
Solitaire Vista Icon.png
Solitaire 7.png
Solitaire in Windows 7
Included with Windows 3.0 up to Windows 7
Replaced by Microsoft Solitaire Collection (Windows 10)
Related components
FreeCell, Hearts, Spider Solitaire

Solitaire, also known as Microsoft Solitaire[1] (including in the About box in some versions), is a computer game included with Microsoft Windows, based on a card game of the same name, also known as Klondike.


Microsoft Solitaire Collection on Windows 10, in Klondike mode

Microsoft has included the game as part its Windows product line since Windows 3.0, starting from 1990.[2] The game was developed in 1989 by then intern Wes Cherry.[3][4] The card deck itself was designed by Macintosh pioneer Susan Kare.[5]

Microsoft intended Solitaire "to soothe people intimidated by the operating system," and at a time where many users were still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces, it proved useful in familiarizing them with the use of a mouse, such as the drag-and-drop technique required for moving cards.[2]

Lost business productivity by employees playing Solitaire has become a common concern since it became standard on Microsoft Windows.[6] In 2006, a New York City worker was fired after Mayor Michael Bloomberg saw the Solitaire game on the man's office computer.[7]

In October 2012, along with the release of the Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft released a new version of Solitaire called Microsoft Solitaire Collection.[8] This version, designed by Microsoft Studios and developed by Arkadium, is advertisement supported, and introduced many new features to the game.

Microsoft Solitaire celebrated its 25th anniversary on May 18, 2015. To celebrate this event, Microsoft hosted a Solitaire tournament on the Microsoft campus and broadcast the main event on Twitch.[9] Jimmy Fallon discussed this event on The Tonight Show and created a parody video joking about how Microsoft was trying to make Solitaire sound cooler than it really is.

As of July 2015 Microsoft Solitaire Collection comes pre-installed on Windows 10.


Since Windows 3.0, Solitaire allows selecting the design on the back of the cards, choosing whether one or three cards are drawn from the deck at a time, switching between Vegas scoring and Standard scoring, and disabling scoring entirely. The game can also be timed for additional points if the game is won. There is a cheat that will allow drawing one card at a time when 'draw three' is set.

In Windows 2000 and later versions of Solitaire, right-clicking on open spaces automatically moves available cards to the four foundations in the upper right-hand corner, as in Freecell. If the mouse pointer is on a card, a right click will move only that card to its foundation, provided that it is a possible move. Left double-clicking will also move the card to the proper foundation.

Until the Windows XP version, the card backs were the original works designed by Susan Kare, and many were animated.

The Windows Vista and Windows 7 versions of the game save statistics on the number and percentage of games won, and allow users to save incomplete games and to choose cards with different face styles.

On Windows 8 and Windows 10, along with Windows Phone, the game was issued as Microsoft Solitaire Collection, where in addition to Klondike other four game modes were featured, Spider, FreeCell (both of whom had been previously featured in versions of Windows as Microsoft Spider Solitaire and Microsoft FreeCell), Pyramid, and TriPeaks.


Despite Solitaire being included for free for 25 years,[10] it was not included in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.[11] Microsoft produced a new advertising-supported version[12] called Microsoft Solitaire Collection that users may download through the Windows Store. The 5 basic game modes contain display ads at the end of each game, and there are new features added in Windows 8 (Daily Challenges and Star Club) where users will see interstitial video ads roughly every 15 minutes, but only between games. Users can optionally pay $1.49/month or $10/year to get the Premium Edition of the game, which removes all advertisements, gives double coins for completing Daily Challenges, and gives some bonuses in the basic TriPeaks and Pyramid game modes.[13] The software, designed by Microsoft Studios and developed by Arkadium, includes Klondike (classic Solitaire), Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks game modes, as well as daily challenges and other features.

Gizmodo characterised the change as a way to "nickel and dime" users, writing that "something which used to come on your PC for free is now corrupted by ad buys."[14] PC Gamer wrote: "The ads in question aren't small banners that appear at the bottom of the screen while you play. They run over the full Solitaire window, some for 15 seconds and some for 30 seconds, and while they don't seem to pop up very often ... they can't be aborted."[15] The Telegraph wrote that users are in "disbelief" that they would have to pay to play a game without being "interrupted by a slew of adverts."[16] Rock, Paper, Shotgun said that the changes are a "particularly heartbreaking sign of the times" and that some users would find it "profoundly sinister" that "a large corporation is gathering and storing vast amounts of data on your computing habits, and not simply what you do in a browser."[17]


  1. ^ "General Protection Fault When Starting Microsoft Solitaire". Support. Microsoft. 26 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Garreau, Joel (March 9, 1994). "Office Minefield". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ Cherry, Wes. "Interview with Wes Cherry - 2008". Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Wes Cherry on Reddit about Solitaire". 
  5. ^ "Susan Kare personal website showing her design for Microsoft Solitaire". Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Church, George J. (October 12, 1998). "Quarterly Business Report: Do Computers Really Save Money?". Time. Time Inc. 
  7. ^ Hu, Winnie (10 February 2006). "Solitaire Costs Man His City Job After Bloomberg Sees Computer". The New York Times Online. The New York Times Company. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Celebrating Microsoft Solitaire". Blogging Windows. May 18, 2015. 
  10. ^ Callaham, John (31 July 2015). "Here's what Microsoft says about Windows 10's version of Solitaire and its ad-supported model". Windows Central. Mobile Nations. 
  11. ^ Kamen, Matt (30 July 2015). "Windows 10 makes you pay to remove ads from Solitaire". Wired UK. Condé Nast. 
  12. ^ Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian (28 July 2015). "Want to remove the ads from Solitaire in Windows 10? That'll be $1.49 a month". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  13. ^ Luckerson, Victor (29 July 2015). "Windows 10 Solitaire Costs $9.99 a Year". Time. Time Inc. 
  14. ^ Walker, Alissa (29 July 2015). "If You Want Microsoft Solitaire Ad-Free It'll Cost You $10/Year". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. 
  15. ^ Chalk, Andy (29 July 2015). "Windows 10 Solitaire requires a subscription to remove ads". PC Gamer. Future plc. 
  16. ^ Ward, Victoria (31 July 2015). "Windows 10: Now you have to pay to play Solitaire". Telegraph Media Group. 
  17. ^ Meer, Alec (30 July 2015). "Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How To Stop It". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Rock Paper Shotgun Ltd. 

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